Video of U.S. Soldier Captured by Taliban

July 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The U.S. military is condemning a Taliban video of a captured American soldier as "propaganda".The video is the first glimpse of 23-year-old Bowe Bergdahl, since he disappeared from his base in Eastern Afghanistan nearly three weeks ago. U.S. military leaders say they are doing what they can to get him back.

"My name is Bowe Bergdahl."

"Where are you from?"

"I'm from Idaho. From Hailey, Idaho, USA."

The tape confirmed what the military had feared. 23-year old Bowe Bergdahl had been captured by the Taliban, after leaving his base in Afghanistan for reasons that are unclear. The young soldier was visibly shaken while being questioned by his captors.

"Well, I'm scared; scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."

The defense department has undertaken an aggressive search for Bergdahl, dropping leaflets that say "One of our American guests is missing. Return the guest to his home." Some of the leaflets warn if he is not returned, his abductors will be hunted down.

When asked about his family, Bergdahl breaks down. "I have my girlfriend, who I was hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America."

The military is under pressure as well, to find Bergdahl, before the Taliban moves him to Pakistan. "The United States Army is not going to leave that soldier behind. They're going to do everything necessary and possible to get him back; alive, well and safe," said ABC News consultant Maj. Gen. William Nash (Ret).

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said U.S. forces must gain ground in Afghanistan by next summer to avoid a public perception that the war is unwinnable.

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